Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Quiz Sep7/8

HP 108-132; PW 4-5; [PG 17-37-see Sep6 quiz]

1. What are the three social classes and the "one royal lie" in Plato's Utopia?

2. What is "justice" for Plato?

3. What's the difference between knowledge and opinion, for Plato?

4. The prisoners in Plato's cave are like people in our world who lack what, and see only what?

5. What must the philosopher/guardian do?

PW
6. How does the meaning of "outside" change on a long walk?

7. What does speed do to time?

8. What is one of the secrets of walking?

DQ

  • Do you find anything objectionable about sorting people into classes, either formally as in Plato's republic, or attitudinally in one's own thinking?
  • What do you think of the idea that "friends should have all things in common, including women and children"? 111 If you didn't know who your father was, would you call all adults of the appropriate age "mother" and "father"? 112
  • Plato was ahead of his time in calling for complete gender equality. Why do you think he didn't also call for complete social equality?
  • Is there really only one "lie" implicit in Plato's republic?
  • How do you define justice?
  • Is there an objective standard of good and bad? Is "pleasure is good" objectively true? 117
  • In what ways, if any, would you agree that our world is like a cave?
  • What do you (dis-) like about being outside? 
  • Have you experienced the "inversion" of a long walk? 32
  • Do you think the pace of your life is too fast? When you slow down, do you get more out of time? Or do you just get bored?
  • Have you experienced the feeling of expanded "presence" while walking? 38
  • Post your DQs

53 comments:

  1. ( H3)
    Sorting people into classes is somewhat offensive, however, it is somewhat necessary to have classes, such as with basic class definitions of the rich and the poor. Although, the cultures which separate people into classes and discriminate against lesser classes certainly can cause trouble for the very concept of forming classes in any setting. I have a question, it seems like there has been a discrimination of sorts or a lack of respect for those who are "blue-collar" workers in America in the past few years, would you guys agree?

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    1. I think we are getting better at respecting blue-collar jobs, although we almost certainly have less respect for them than society did, in say, the 50's. It's rather ironic considering that blue-collar workers often do work the white-collar individuals wouldn't want to do themselves. It seems a more logical response than degradation would be gratitude.

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    2. While separation into classes may seem offensive, it is a necessary evil for we have to have people to do all the 'blue-collar' jobs and people to do the 'white-collar' jobs. Most people are not fit to accomplish both, so for a society to function, there has to be some separation

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    3. For thousands of years there has been a sort of discrimination towards those who do the labor and respect towards those who do thinking. I suppose it's because most people think the physical aspect can be done by most, but the mental can only be done by some.

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  2. No, there is no objective standard of good or bad. We have an accepted general standard of morals in our society, but they vary culture to culture and specifically person to person. Things are only right or wrong if we set our moral standards that way.
    As someone who considers themselves a hedonist, what i've come to realize is that the idea that "pleasure is good" only works as a philosophy for simple answers and dilemmas. Because morality is complex and usually personal, what is pleasure for one person is chaos to another. Trailing after pleasure is the exact route a "yes man" follows, which more often than not never ends well.

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    1. Just curious, would you equate the idea of no objective standard of good or bad with the idea of no truth or untruth?

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    2. While there is no collective good or bad, there is a general that is accepted. Most everyone will agree that good can only be something that is helpful to everyone and that everything that is harmful to the population is bad. This however shortens the list of good things to an extremely small number, so we have to compromise and decide what is good for a certain population or culture over another.

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    3. H1
      @Sean, you are a better hedonist than I would be; if I believed that pleasure was the only good thing in life, I would not be willing to sacrifice any of it for others. Why do you think that compromise over morality is good, and not a simple waste of time?

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  3. I would define justice as receiving proper consequences for one's actions: both good and bad. If I obey laws and do good things, then it is just for me to be rewarded with freedom. If I break laws and harm others, then it is just for me to face the negative consequences, such as losing my privileges and freedom.

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    1. Justice usually neglects the the rewards for acting according to how society expects us to. Should freedom be the only reward?

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    2. I don't see what other sort of reward that justice would grant; I think the idea of justice makes the point that there is a certain way that things should be, and that deviating from those things is bad. I don't think I should be rewarded for driving on the right side of the street, or paying my taxes. I think I should receive consequences for doing the opposite.

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    3. Freedom is supposed to be a right of each American citizen. When an individual imposes over another's freedoms, that individuals right to freedom is stripped away. When the basis of our society seems to be freedom for all, can we really refer to it as a reward? What would you see as a fit reward for acting according to how society expects us to?

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    4. Granted, I should not have used the word "rewarded." Technically speaking however, the consequence of me driving on the right side of the road is NOT crashing my vehicle. Sure its not as dramatic as the consequence of actually crashing my car, but it is a consequence nonetheless.

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  4. DQ: Many simply define justice as fairness. If that is the case, do you find the death penalty fair (or just) in cases of murder?

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    Replies
    1. IF to be just is to also be fair, then in cases of murder, the death penalty would be fair, or just. This is only because they have taken a life and so it should only be fair that their life is taken in return as penitence for their crime.

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    2. (H3) If you consider Socrates ideas on death though, does that still hold true? He told his followers not to worry for him, because death is unknown and it may be better or worse than life here on Earth. If that is the case, then what would be more fair? The death penalty that may possibly release someone who has done a great injustice into a better place, or having them serve a life sentence in a place that we know for fact penalizes him for his crimes?

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    3. Well if it is an unknown according to Socrates, I would say we do what we do know, and justify death for death.

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  5. I have experience the feeling of "expanded presence" while walking. I quite enjoy long walks or hikes in nature. I don't set out a goal time to be finished, but rather I give the day up to walking and enjoying the things around me and within me. In nature, it is easy for me to feel at one with the Earth- connected with all of humanity and Creation. I think it is a combination of the open air, the surrounding beauty, and the time set aside to simply think and walk that reduces my thoughts to those of simplicity which makes everything so relatable. (H3)

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    1. Can you clarify what you mean by "relatable"? I understand the feeling of peace and one with nature, but what is relatable, and what are you relating to?

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  6. Plato probably never advocated social equality because he knew there had to be different classes- people doing different jobs. Even today, we all specialize into different fields to increase productivity as a whole society.

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    1. And in a communist society the goal is to perfect this; it's great on paper, but less effective when executed. Utopia is harder to achieve than to plan.

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  7. I do think the pace of our lives is too fast. As I get older, I do feel that the years keep finishing quicker and quicker. But when I have nothing to do, I don't really engage in philosophic thought- probably why I also get bored when I don't have tasks to accomplish. I also do not think most people engage in philosophic thought in spare time, which can also promote and reinforce a fast-paced lifestyle.

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  8. My group yesterday discussed means justifying an end. We ended the conversation on war, more specifically WWII. We could not come to a definite conclusion on when a means justifies an end. However, once we returned to the classroom, Dr. Oliver added to our discussion the notion that maybe when the masses agree something is right is when the means are justifiable. (H1)

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    1. I'm not sure I necessarily agree that majority vote determines that the means are justifiable. A group of people can be wrong just as easily as a single person can, especially if the group has been misinformed or under-informed.
      Personally, I'm not sure I agree with the phrase "the ends justify the means" at all. I believe we should deserve the ends, and that is determined by the way we get there, or rather the means.

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  9. I think that it is wrong to sort people into classes, but I do think that there will always be a form of classes, and people should pick and strive for where they want to be.

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    1. H1
      I think that people usually sort themselves into classes; people who share common interests or activities generally gravitate towards each other. This can be very mobile or it can become rigid and hierarchical.

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  10. Friends should have some things in common, but not all things. The differences are what keeps things interesting and exciting amongst friends. I find that when I’m surrounded by people who think exactly like I do, act exactly like I do, speak exactly like I do, like the same exact type of boy I do, we begin to have problems. Differences are needed in everything, otherwise we would stop evolving.
    If I didn’t know who my father was, I would not call all adults of the appropriate age “mother” and “father”. The only time that I would consider calling someone father, who wasn’t, was if I had a mentor of some kind that had been like a father figure to me for the majority of my life. As far as calling random strangers father just because of their age, would never be something I would do, that’s just odd.

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  11.  Maybe Plato called for complete gender equality, but didn’t call for complete social equality because he saw the way people think as a way of almost deciding someone’s worth. Someone who understands and questions, Plato sees as a leader who can help others see and understand what they already do. Plato gives everyone the chance to learn everything and then are tested to see where they fit in best, so everyone has a chance to move up in classes. Maybe I’m not fully understanding what I’m reading, but what Plato has set out as a class system doesn’t seem so bad; people aren’t born into the different classes, but are tested into them.

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  12. Justice is good overcoming evil, any wrong doing being brought to light, and receiving consequences for all actions, good and bad. The truth, no matter how hard someone tries to hide it, will always be brought to the forefront, and every deceitful lie will be seen for what it truly is.

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    1. Out of curiosity, how would you define Justice in comparison to Revenge, since the two words are often wrongly-interchanged?

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  13. I do believe that there is an objective standard of good and bad. Being a Christian I believe that The Bible sets the standard for what is good and evil, moral and immoral. I do not believe that “pleasure is good” is objectively true. Pleasure is a relative term, to someone pleasure may be helping the homeless, to another pleasure may be murdering someone. Without a divine power defining good and evil, we as humans cannot dictate an objective standard of good and evil, because what one may see as good another may see as evil.

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  14. What I hate with a passion about being outside are all of the bugs: the mosquitoes, ants, spiders, grasshoppers, etc. What I love about outside is the fresh air, the freedom, the sunshine, the trees, the plants, etc. I love the way being outside makes you feel and its beauty adds to my faith that the universe and everything in it was hand crafted and it wasn’t just made by accident. If we could get rid of the bugs, I would live outside as I once did as a child.

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  15. If the pace of my life begins to slow down I begin to feel bored, so I become restless and agitated. I am more productive and think things through when life is going fast and upbeat.

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  16. Discussion Question:
    Where do we get a sense of morality from? Where do we get this idea of right and wrong?

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    1. I believe this often comes from either human nature, or the manner in which we were raised. An example would be how different societies have different morals. They have the same "natural instinct", but were raised in a society with different morals and beliefs that were created over time.

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  17. (H01) I honestly dislike walking outside most times of the year. Mid-summer and winter is too extreme for me, whether it be severely cold or severely hot. Spring and fall are allergy time in Tennessee and being a severe sufferer, it kills me to barely step outside during these times. Stepping outside for just a few moments leaves me stuffy and sneezy.

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    1. H1
      Do you still enjoy the activity of walking? Or do you have something else that you find soothing, renewing, and enjoyable? I know I've always found refuge in books. Do you do something similar?

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  18. Do you find anything objectionable about sorting people into classes, either formally as in Plato's republic, or attitudinally in one's own thinking?

    Forcibly sorting people into rigid class systems with no room for upward mobility is quite objectionable. But class systems based on job and income is different. These systems can be left open so those within it have the opportunity for movement and improvement. Their endeavors might not succeed, but the opportunity to move makes it a less objectionable system.

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  19. What do you like about being outside? H1

    I've always been an outdoors kind of kid. I am a sucker for the beauty that nature always seems to produce. Growing up in Chattanooga, there was always a beautiful scene of the Tennessee River or Lookout Mountain to gaze at and get lost in thought. The outdoors seem to make it so easy to get lost in your own mind, lost in the beauty in front of you.

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    1. H1
      I agree! Art and painting are marvelous, but they can't immerse you the way a landscape can. The outdoors blends the senses: the sounds, smells, sights, textures. It's a full body experience.

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    2. H1
      Exactly! It's hard to enter a landscape and not just stop and use all of your senses to experience it. Immersion is the best way to experience anything, honestly.

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  20. (H2) I do not believe there is an objective standard of good and bad. I believe that good and bad are what we make it. What is bad to one individual could have no moral affect on someone else. And in the same sense, what is good in one culture could very well be bad in another. Good and bad are in the eye of the beholder essentially, just like beauty. If we did not have moral codes instilled in us from young ages, we honestly would not know where to draw the line between the two.

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  21. H1
    I do believe in an objective standard of good and bad. I believe in good and evil, and I believe that most people do as well, even if they say they don't. No one can look at the holocaust and shrug their shoulders; the horror is clear and unadulterated. There are grey areas in morality, and there are times when right and wrong are difficult to perceive, but I think that's human error.
    I think that pleasure is good. It can be twisted to become wrong: sadism is a clear example on that. C.S. Lewis made the point that everything that is "wrong" is simply a twisting of what is right. Owning property is a good thing, trying to acquire it through theft is wrong. Sex is a good thing, rape is wrong. Trust is good, and abuse of it through deceit is wrong. Evil isn't original.

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    1. H1
      I agree with you. If anyone was to say, in response to your examples, that theft, rape, and deceit were not in fact evil acts, that individual would be blatantly ignoring the fundamental basis of morality. There are set and accepted moral standards, and you're right, grey areas are produced by human error (and stupidity).

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  22. H1
    I have experienced the "inversion" of a long walk. I've been lucky enough to be able to go on several multi-day hiking trips, and they are marvelous. Walking, resting, sleeping, and making a temporary home all in the woods is a unique and beautiful experience.

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  23. (H2)

    Answering DQ: In what ways, if any, would you agree that our world is like a cave?

    1) in racism.
    2) in gender inequality.
    3) in social inequality.
    4) in the justice system.
    etc...

    All of these "ways" I believe have a form of "uni-vision" view. These see things in a linear format without trying to understand the fact that there is more than one way of seeing things and understanding them.

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  24. I originally posted this elsewhere then realized it would make a good discussion question.
    If then, moral ends justify immoral means does that make the means themselves moral by proxy?

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  25. -In what ways, if any, would you agree that our world is like a cave?

    We reside in the cave, Earth, knowing not of what potential lies beyond the extremities of it's walls. We know that there is an outside but not what it holds. We've only ventured mere steps beyond its perimeters. We've surveyed that it exists but not what it posses. We've stayed here in comfort and shelter. We are cave dwellers reluctant of change in this "cave". Maybe the answers lie not on the outside, but within.

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  26. DQ: How do you define justice?

    Answer: There's a fine line between justice and revenge. Personally, I see the difference between the two as revenge is a personal vendetta, and justice is for someone else, or a group of people.

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  27. DQ: Do you find anything objectionable about sorting people into classes, either formally as in Plato's republic, or attitudinally in one's own thinking?
    Answer: No, I don't. I don't agree with trying to label people, or make them conform into a category just for convenience.

    DQ: What do you think of the idea that "friends should have all things in common, including women and children"?
    Answer: To this question, I think about diversity. Being exposed to new and foreign things in the form of a person isn't only healthy, but also exciting and eye-opening. It can allow for new views on life.

    DQ: If you didn't know who your father was, would you call all adults of the appropriate age "mother" and "father"?
    Answer: No, but I don't define father as a simple blood connection, but rather a personal and emotional connection formed over time.

    DQ: Plato was ahead of his time in calling for complete gender equality. Why do you think he didn't also call for complete social equality?
    Answer: In my opinion, because I think he knew it was impossible, and impractical. Think as far back in time as you can- there have always been superiors and inferiors, the predator and the prey, the alpha and the omega. It may not always be right, but it's in some ways natural.


    DQ: Is there an objective standard of good and bad? Is "pleasure is good" objectively true?
    Answer: I believe there are generally accepted definitions of good and bad in every society, but that doesn't make it right or wrong. Pleasure is not always good- there are people that avoid pleasures in order to focus their love on that which is most important to them- often God.

    DQ- Do you think the pace of your life is too fast? When you slow down, do you get more out of time? Or do you just get bored?
    Answer- There are times I feel that life is passing me by in a whirlwind. However, I have what I consider an "active mind". To me, this means that my mind never rests- I'm always thinking of everything and nothing. My body may be still, but my mind never is. This can be both good and bad- good because it improves my cognitive abilities and challenges my mind. Bad, because I can never just take a minute to relax and space out, to reboot myself, and even causes me to have insomnia

    DQ: Have you experienced the feeling of expanded "presence" while walking?
    Answer: I have never been much of a walker, but I've found the second best way to clear my mind is go running. It requires just enough mental energy to keep my mind happy, and doesn't let me overwhelm myself with thoughts and questions.

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  28. DQ to all: What is the difference between walking on campus to and from class, and taking time out of your day to walk with no ulterior motives? Is there a difference for you?

    My answer: The difference for me is if I'm walking from classes, my mind is often filled with thoughts of "how can it be this hot" and "did I have homework for this next class?". If I go on a deliberate walk for the sake of walking, it is often the opposite- I either want to clear my mind, or sharpen it enough to clarify my thoughts and feelings.

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  29. Tuesday, 0/6 Peripatetic Walk: Noah Fryman, Mikaela Cherfin, and Pemo Maldonado
    We discussed the obligations that come with the power of invisibility. We discussed that each of us would like to dedicate a significant chunk of our lives to utilizing the power for good, but we hypothesized what each of us would do selfishly to benefit from the power. We questioned whether or not one is obligated to do good, and what devils should we have in the details?

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